Friday, May 30, 2008

it's friday.

desk architecture - 30.may

"perpendicular balance":
no idea what this is all about? click here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

=w=, sung to the tune of my life.

with the advent of the new Weezer album upon us (next week!), i've been getting nostalgic about one of my all time favorite bands, and where i've been in my life when each album came out. let's take a walk down memory lane. i was going to even embed some rock videos so we can have some theme music, but Universal sucks + has disabled embed codes on YouTube.

"the Blue album" - it was the spring of 1994, i was channel surfing between Darkwing Duck and MTV, and came across this really weird video of people mumbling between rock choruses (something about a sweater?). my friend Laura would hum this same tune in German class every day. in my second set of CDs from Columbia House (or was it BMG?), i decided to give the band a try, it was catchy but not mellow enough for my needs. i wound up selling it to a used CD store. it wouldn't be until several months later (1995) that my first highschool roommate (Dustin, of all people), forced me to listen to the album while doing my calculus homework. by the end of my senior year, i was addicted, and got my soon-to-be college roommate (Will) to give me his copy of "Blue" in exchange for using my room to get his drink on the night before graduation. i'd soon play it every day. the first song, "My Name is Jonas" is one of the best opening songs on an album, "the World has Turned and Left Me Here" became the ultimate mix-tape addition to make the ladies swoon, "Only in Dreams" still gives me chills as it rocks out in a ballad like end solo, and "Surf Wax America" still feels like the anthem of my life (sub out "board" for "bike").
in my opinion, this is one of the best rock albums EVER made.

Pinkerton - fall of 1996...senior year (of highschol). i still remember Joey Isbell (the cool guy across the hall) getting all excited about it coming out. i hung out in his room + listened to a few times, and thought it was OK. but i was still getting into "Blue". the funny thing was, i was all depressed and emo over a girl, and this would have been the perfect album, had i only given it a chance. it wasn't until freshman year, when Joey was living across the street, that i made a copy on a tape, played it in my car far too many times, and would up asking for it for Christmas. oddly, it was the more rocking songs on the album that caught my ear first, before i came into full appreciation of the total album (years later [2003], while in Tokyo, as i still obsessed over this album in my 2nd bout of female-driven pessimism, i'd find and buy a copy of the Japanese print from which the cover of this album was based. that print still hangs in my dining room). "Tired of Sex" (one of the end choruses, "why can't i be making love come true") sang true to the emotional/romantic frustrations of my late teens, "the Good Life" made me want to get up and take over the world (which made even more sense when i realized it was about lead singer Rivers Cuomo making the decision to drop out of Harvard - where he sent himself on the financial success of "Blue" - and get back to the rock & roll life), and, "El Scorcho" was so weird, but so funny. many herald it as the first emo album (before emo was emo). a commercial failure (that drove Rivers into a bout of depression), but far and away Weezer's best album, period. an odd statement to make, when you recognize the earlier superlative statement about "Blue."

and then Weezer disappeared. for awhile. both "the Blue album" + Pinkerton were ~30 mins each, so they easily fit on one CD, which got played over, and over, and over again. over the years, i'd make copies of this duel album and hand off to many friends throughout my undergrad years of college (1997-2001). as the internet became a place to pirate music, i sought out as many b-sides, bootlegs, and demo-tracks as possible.

"the Green album" - fall of 2001. life was good. no, life was great. junior year of college, i was done with my co-op, saw the light at the end of my engineering tunnel (though i still had no idea what i wanted to do with my life), was dating a great girl, and had a bunch of great friends to hang out with, go to shows, etc. AND Weezer had just release a new album. and that spring they were kicking of a new tour, that i had tickets too! Weezer was headlining the Yahoo! Outloud tour, with special guests the Get Up Kids and super-secret very special guests (Ozma). we got to Athens, GA, too late to see Ozma, but i got over it. it was a fun album. didn't rock as hard, and definitely was not as introspective as Pinkerton, but who cared? i didn't get what the relevance of "Hash Pipe," was but as my buddy Ryan put it, "it sure sounded cool." "Photograph" expressed was everything that was good in life + love, "Island in the Sun" made you bob your head, and even "Oh Girlfriend" was a short but fun ballad. though it only clocked in at ~30 minutes (after 5 years we deserved more!), "Green" was fun, it rocked, and Weezer was making music again. all was good in the world.

Maladroit - spring 2002. all the difference a year or so makes. contrasting junior year of college, the latter half of my first year of grad school SUCKED. college girlfriend + i had broken up. i was stuck in a town and apartment that reminded me of her. i was slipping into a confusing relapse with the first girl i had fallen for, but didn't know which way was up. Maladroit, was rough, and dark. i didn't understand where they were going with some of the tracks, but was grateful to not be forced to endure through another pop-driven album. i got to make another 2 shows - one in Nashville, the other in Tokyo (Summersonic opening for G&R, of all bands). weird how you find yourself humming the themes of your life in the weirder parts of your life. i didn't get "Dope Nose," nor did i want to, "Slob" was where i felt stuck at the bottom of a barrell i would never get out of, but "Keep Fishin" (& the hilarious muppets video) gave me hope that somehow, somewhere, i'd make it out alive.

Make Believe - Spring 2005. further proof that like rock albums, live works in cycles. working my sweet corporate gig (out of Alabama!) for 2 years now, travel for work and fun was in full swing, and to make it all even better had just gotten involved relationship-wise with one of my closest friends in town (after the trials and tribulations of many personal challenges ...a close friend passing away, a tumultuous dysfunctional relationship, and losing a family member to cancer). and this beauty came out. there is always a rebound (in a good way). the album's songs rocked, but rang true the opening single, "Beverly Hills" would not have you believe that, but everything else on this album just...worked. got to see them at headline Lollapalooza in Chicago, which was a great time with close friends. between 3 of my favorite songs on the album (2 of which made the all time =w= favorites list) - there was almost a Cure like insight: "Perfect Situation," "This Is Such A Pity," and "The Damage In Your Heart." and if none of that is good enough for you, "We are All on Drugs" is hilarious, yet true, in one way or another

"the Red Album" - summer 2008. life is in a weird place. having moved back to the US, i find myself uncomfortably comfortable. i can stay where i am, but that's not going to be good enough. i love what i do, and have some exciting stuff on my plate professionally, but find myself unmotivated. there's an external way to get pulled out, and internally there's enough to keep me interested until i can make it happen. so let's just enjoy the new Weezer album + see where it goes. i've got time. but i've also got plans. let's go.

the tweet & the whale.

i like twitter.

twittering (tweeting?) is much fun (especially when you sync it to your FB status). but holy crap it is unreliable. slowdowns, lockups, etc...

for one of the hottest rising interweb tools - it's making the mistake of one of the many "social web" predecessors from years ago (friendster, circa 2003).

fix that sh*t already, or i'm going somewhere else (surely there is some other website ending in an "R" that i can start using)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


actually, from what i can tell (i've now read 3-4 interesting articles + blog entries about this book being published) there is nothing too shocking in here (other than the fact that he actually wrote this book), but you better believe it's going to be an early Christmas gift for many of my patriotic, presidential-supporting friends. and yes, i have some of those. sigh.

not surprisingly, this happens soon after.

anywho, call me immature, but this was really the video clip came to mind when i heard about this book the book:

oh wait, i meant this one:

desk architecture - 27.may

a day late & a dollar short (%$#%^*$&-ing phone was acting up). let's call this one, "horizontal plane":

no idea what this is all about? click here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

stop w/ the tshirts already, part 2.

dear hillary:
please stop already. i mean, all of these t-shirt designs suck. is this how you expect to win my [already taken in Ohio] vote?
(click to enlarge)

come on, no self-respecting man would wear a t-shirt with a pant suit on it (although it is quite the clever play on much under-worn tuxedo shirt). my Obama shirt is way (Che?) cooler. i mean, seriously (and i didn't even have to vote on 1 of 5 lame designs):
who does the Clinton campaign think they are this late in the game. do they think that by pulling of a threadless-like campaign they're going to get the super delegates to change their mind? do they think that the DNC is going to now allow Florida + Michigan to vote at the convention in August? all because they allowed consumer generated (and vetted) tshirt? don't they know that only yuppie, hipster, liberal elitists can make cool t-shirts?

related post
(on tshirts)

another related post (on the difference in consumer generated content between campaigns)

Monday, May 26, 2008

wild animals in rural ohio. and baskets.

this past weekend, we made a short road trip of sorts into mid-Ohio. the original intent of the journey was the check out the Wilds, North America's largest wildlife preserve (which, surprisingly, most native Ohioans have never heard of...thanks to Michelle for telling us about it a few years ago), but along the way we found some other areas of interest as well.

on the way up, we decided to check out the Longaberger basket company. not only is their corporate office a giant basket (yes, you read that correctly, a GIANT BASKET, i can only imagine what it would be like to work in a giant bottle of shampoo or laundry detergent, but i guess this could provide some inspiration), but they have the "Homestead" (kind of a like a Disney World for basket lovers, minus Space Mountain), where one can see the world's largest apple basket. insanity.

to keep the weekend relaxed, we chose to drive up the night before and stay at a really swank bed & breakfast in Dresden, Ohio, which was aptly named. not counting the many guest houses that we stayed at in Asia (some more personable than others), this was only our second bed & breakfast experience, but when done right, it beats ANY hotel any day of the week. we stayed up drinking wine and cheese, watching Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (far and away the best of the series, having just seen the new one the night before) in the cozy den (leather couch, plasma screen, assorted nature sounds outside).

even WITH the hilarity of the giant baskets and the hominess of the b&b, the real highlight of the weekend was the Wilds:
" of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world. Located on nearly 10,000 acres in southeast Ohio, it is home to more than 25 species of rare and endangered wildlife from Africa, Asia and North America, along with hundreds of indigenous species."
if you live ANYWHERE near Ohio, make this trip already (especially all of you peoples in's only an hour east of you!). hippos, giraffes, and camels, oh my! plenty pictures to be found from the respective albums linked below:

a great, random weekend spent with my favorite person. and now back to our regularly scheduled life...

the Earth, R.I.P. the end of an era.

this past weekend, on our way out of town, i decided to make a quick stop by the comic store. since it had been awhile, i made it a point to stop by the next door toy store, the Earth, only to find out it was the last day it would be open.

one of the first things i did when i got to Cincinnati (other than finding an apartment), was finding a comic store. this was the only way i knew i'd make this new place a home (i could no longer feasibly stay with my hometown comic shop). now picking a new comic store is an important decision. it dictates where you're going to get your weekly/monthly fix of graphic art enabled fiction, as well as an outlet to talk the latest geek things face to face (good writing, bad art, movie reviews, sci fi tv, etc) with other like-minded individuals.

what sealed the deal with my comic store was not the hold policy, discounts, selection of books, or friendly staff (though those were all excellent), but rather what was next door - not only was there a cool indie record store, but a toy store. and not just any toy store. the Earth. i had discovered the coolest corner in the Universe. and it was in Pleasant Ridge.

when people ask me what is cool about Cincinnati, or more importantly when they come to visit, it's stores like the Earth that i tell them of (or take them to). privately owned (ie, not a chain), the Earth did more than just sell the latest toys + collectibles off the shelf - they sold USED toys...OUT of the box.

toys weren't meant to sit in boxes and collect dust. they were meant to be standing and posed, like the modern day totem-like tributes to the graphic medium (of comics, film, and TV) that they are. and believe you me, there is NOTHING cooler than having Green Lantern standing in front of your TV (especially around Saint Patrick's day). or Nightcrawler hanging upside down at your desk at work. or giving your friend who just discovered comics (and likes Wolverine or Spider-Man) their own. or setting aside primo bookshelf space to show Godzilla w/ a duck nose VS Marvel+DC...
every few weeks when i'd make my stop by the comic store for my fix, i'd pop into the Earth. i'd rummage through old toys, recognizing far too many obscure sci-fi/comics references, and sometimes just picking up something because it looked cool. and when these toys are already out of the packaging, it became a low-priced flight of fancy. and the staff? friendly as anyone else, always willing to talk about the latest going on in and outside of their medium (i still remember striking up a 10 min conversation with one of the main guys there on why he was done with Marvel (and was selling off everything Marvel book in his collection). a bold move indeed.

but now those days are gone. the Earth has closed it's doors (though they're maintaining their online presence), but Cincinnati has lost one of it's more unique stores. i guess we all have to grow up sometime.

...but at least i'll be able to keep Mr. Freeze in check with Luke Cage at my desk.

hello, flag money?

Brazilian artist Icaro Doria's eyebrow-raising "Meet the World" campaign that's been circulating the world (nothing new, just a GREAT articulation of the existing facts, very much in the same vein as indexed):






European Union:


United States:

"We started to research relevant, global, and current facts and, thus, came up with the idea to put new meanings to the colours of the flags. We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.

The campaign has been running in Portugal since January 2005. There are eight flags that portray very current topics like the division of opinions about the war in Iraq in the United States, the violence against women in Africa, the social inequality in Brazil, the drug trafficking in Columbia, Aids and malaria in Angola, etc."

learn more.

...thanks to jason for passing this along.

this was supposed to be the future (part 1)

the other day i was wondering around middle-of-nowhere America (rural-capitalist Ohio), and i noticed the following (seen left).

now i have made this point before, and i am sure it has made its way into a upstart comedian's bit as well, but weren't Dippin Dots supposed to be the ice cream of the future?

something has been commoditized once people start to knock it off with their own [cheap?] imitations (flattery?).
anyhow, i remember the insecure hanging out at the shopping mall (was it Aladdin's Castle or it's competitor Diamond Jim's which in Montgomery, AL, was far mroe innocent than anything i could find in Google) days when you'd see the Dippin Dots booth.

over the years, as i started to care less about my image (thanks Sprite!) and become cooler (though note, correlation is not [necessarily] causation, but maybe in this case it is), i started to see Dippin Dots sold in many a random location (movie theatres, theme parks, etc). and now we find ourselves in the future, and the photo above. now they are commoditized. so i guess we made it.
in closing, i quote one of my favorite tshirts (and we know that i/society have sunk to a new low when we are quoting tshirts to sum up a point):
"they lied to us.
this was supposed to be the future.

where is my jetpack,

where is my robotic companion,

where is my dinner in pill form,

where is my hyrdogen fueld automobile,

where is my nuclear-powered levitating house,

where is my cure for this disease."

the future indeed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

super hero supplies.

a few years ago when i was in New York (10.Sept 2005 to be exact), i made the jaunt into Brooklyn to check out the "Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store" - a similar concept storefront to the "Pirate Supply Store" in San Francisco i had visited several months earlier.

the store - a brainchild of several do-gooding writers - was one of the more unique creative commercial venues i had experienced. naturally, given the subject matter, it was perfectly tailored to fit my eccentric/obsessive geek tastes. given all my time spent at ToyLab lately, my mind has been wandering back to this experience, so i thought i'd share some pics from the B.S.S.S.:

the store, is run by 826NY (a local branch of a broader non-profit 826) - which is headed by writers (founded by Pulitzer-winning author Dave Eggers, etc), "dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write."

basically, it's a front for a creative writing center, which is in the "secret room" in the back. naturally, as you can imagine, any storefront (for pirates OR superheroes) created + designed by super-intelligent literary types is going to be amusing. if you didn't take the time to look at some of these pics, take another look and READ.

to see more insane pictures from my Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store experience, go here. but if you only read one thing here, check out the Vow of Heroism (seen left). and remember, always:
and that's for serious.


more creepy toys [i made]

last weekend @ ToyLab i made like a JILLION toys (more like 11-12, which is a significant order of magnitude less). here are the first 5 or so (since the rest have yet to be posted to the official site...and if you're not reading the captions, you're missing the real fun):

#6281: "Superfastjet," by Luke (age 7):
Powers: It has dragon breath. It glows in the dark and goes superfast.

#6282: "Dinotron" by Will (age 4):
Powers: It drives superfast with dino power and soldier power.

#6284: "Tomato Posse" by Maria (age 26):
Powers: It causes intimidation with food, striking fear.

#6285: "Carpool Mayhem" by Jieun (age 26):
Powers: It is amphibious and ecofriendly with a super kicking attitude.

#6286: "Super Soccer Glow Man" by Dylan (age 7):
Powers: He has love, flying, strong, hopping, kicking, slapping, and glowing powers.

more to come, even though i'm not working at the ToyLab this weekend (the remaining pics from last weekend have yet to be loaded).

and if you're a friend of mine (in or out of Cinci) + you still haven't made a trip to ToyLab to have me make you a toy...then shame on you, you're no friend of mine.

want to see every toy i've made to date? click here. idea what i'm talking about? click here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...